I awoke this morning, the first rays of the rising sun made their way through the window giving the room a warm Sedona Red glow. Ok maybe it wasn’t exactly Sedona Red but it was close. It’s funny; after Monday night’s game in Denver I wasn’t sure the sun would ever rise again a sentiment that I think was shared by a large contingent of Arizona Diamondbacks fans. No matter how much the 2007 Arizona Diamondbacks exceeded everyone’s expectations to make their way not only to the play-offs but all the way to the National League Championship Series there was still the painful realization that the home team had been eliminated and would not be playing any more baseball in 2007; or would they? Could it have been that I had just had a horrible nightmare and the four game sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies was just a bad dream brought upon by eating Dryers Cookie Dough ice cream with maraschino cherries right before bed?


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I’m still trying to digest the fact that Arizona Diamondbacks baseball is over for the 2007 season. I know I shouldn’t be disappointed with the outcome of this season but in the back of my mind I still feel slighted because I believe that the Diamondbacks had the better ball club in the NLCS. They just didn’t get the breaks they needed to show that. But I can’t sit here and dwell on the past. It’s also a little premature to begin planning for the 2008 season. Although I can hardly wait for Spring Training to begin, if I start talking about that now I am going to drive myself and more importantly Trina crazy well before Christmas. She is usually accustomed to be driven crazy around the last week in January so if I push the timetable up to December she is likely to go postal on me before I ever get a chance to buy Cactus League tickets. So that leaves me in a slight quandary as to what I can and cannot think about. I know there is still baseball going but watching the remaining ALCS games is kind of like pouring salt in an open wound. Hopefully I’ll heal enough to watch the World Series when in begins next week. If not I have at least got my Tivo set to record the games for when I am ready to watch. So please don’t anyone tell me the outcome of any of the games.


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With the Arizona Diamondbacks down 0-3 in this series it would take quite an effort for them to come back especially against a team who has lost only once in the past month. It was even more of a reach considering that the Arizona Diamondbacks would send a rookie to the mound who has not pitched in a game situation for nearly 2 weeks. There was just no telling what would happen. At the end of the evening the story would go one of two ways. Either the headlines would read that the Diamondbacks still had life and had forced a game 5 or we would be reading how the Rockies were a team of destiny heading to their first World Series in franchise history. Diamondbacks fans everywhere were hoping for the former rather than the latter.


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You just have to love Eric Byrnes. Whether it is his all-out play running into walls chasing down fly balls or his head first slides into the bases where he comes up with his uniform a complete mess. The guy is just a fun dude to watch. He is one of those players who wears his heart on his sleeve. You always know exactly how Eric is doing based upon his mannerisms and actions. Some people resent that like the lovable Milton Bradley (the crummy outfielder for the San Diego Padres not the maker of fun board games) who thinks Byrnes practices “fake hussle” which is a Milton-ism for being a “show boat”. Of course no one puts much credence into anything that Milton Bradley says except maybe umpire Mike Winters.


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Game 1 of the National League Championship was still very fresh on everyone’s mind when the gates to Chase Field opened for Game 2. The Diamondbacks fans were still steaming over the questionable call by Larry “the lizard” Vanover on the slide by Justin Upton. No one is arguing that Upton was out, he clearly was. The frustrating part remains that Vanover made a judgment call that Upton’s intent was to take out the player. I challenge Larry “the lizard” to find me one base runner going from first base to second base who is not intent on breaking up the double play. Normally the umpire whips out Major League Baseball Rules 7.09 (e) and 7.09 (f) when a base runner goes out of his way not going near the base to take out the runner. The problem with this call was that Upton was on the bag when the call was made. It makes you wonder what Larry “the lizard” was daydreaming about when he made that call. That play was just a minor part of the conversation though. The majority of news outlets chose instead to dwell on the few fans that tested their pitching prowess by throwing debris onto the field.


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Yesterday I wrote about the dream of being in the National League Championship Series; what I should have said was that it was more of a nightmare. The most troubling part was that the nightmare was not so much about the Diamondbacks losing 5-1 but rather the events that took place in the seventh inning of the game. The bottom half of the seventh inning of this game may just turn out to be the defining moment of this series and could become the “Big Bang” origin of true baseball fans in Arizona. In the ten years of being an Arizona Diamondbacks fan I have never seen events like I saw during that half inning. It all started innocently enough.


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It’s 4 AM; I have been tossing and turning for two hours and have finally realized that I am just not going to be able to sleep. You would have thought that I would have crashed right out after not getting to bed until nearly 1 AM but that just has not been the case. My head is filled with thoughts and excitement over the events that will take place in approximately 13 hours. I have been waiting since 2001 for the Arizona Diamondbacks to return to the National League Championship Series and that day has finally arrived. I still remember how excited I was when the 2001 team made it this far. It was like a dream watching Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling dominate the Atlanta Braves taking that series in 5 games and setting up one of the greatest World Series in history. This is definitely not the 2001 team though I am still dreaming.


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